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JackL 06-01-2010 01:29 PM

The Big Trip, Year 1
After 36 months of planning, work, fears we may not go, moves, setbacks, and organization my girlfriend & I are setting out on a multi-decade around-the-world trip.

The rather bland name The Big Trip comes from an 18 month drive my family took around the US in the early 70s, so technically this should be The Big Trip II. Photos of that trip are located here:

You can see some of our preparation in the last link in my signature.

The rough plan:
We fly out to Iceland tomorrow, 6/2/10 for 2 weeks. This will unfortunately not be on two wheels but by bus & backpacking.
We return for 2 weeks & then begin on June 29, which is also the anniversary of our first date in 2004.
We'll head east from Seattle to Couer D'Alene, ID to see some family, then turn north to Yahk, BC where my cousins have a cabin.
Next north to Alaska as far as Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay.
We'll briefly return to Seattle around the end of Aug then head southeast hitting some sights on the way to CO where we will drop the bikes at my brothers & spend the winter working & being ski bums at one of the resorts, probably Vail.

2011 we will ride around the US over some of the route I did in the first Big Trip. We plan to winter in San Francisco, where I was born, that winter.

2012 we'll head to Central America. From there South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, then down the island chains of the Pacific to Australia & New Zealand. The plan is to stop & work a lot along the way so we should finish sometime around 2030, give or take.

We plan on staying with friends & family, using Couchsurfing &, and the ADV Tent Space list and camping but not many hotels/hostels. So if you're out there & have space let us know. If you're on the list & we're coming your way expect to hear from us.

Here's a picture of us from New Years Eve, not in riding gear.
(Note: Hair color may vary)

The Bikes:
Jack: 2007 KLR 650 aka The Green Max
Jessica: 2007 DRZ 400 aka DR Z (or Reefie)

We won't have internet access much in Iceland so our first update won't be until we return.

JackL 06-01-2010 01:36 PM

I'd also like to begin this trip with a dedication to my girlfriend:

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
by the Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ž percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

japslap 06-01-2010 01:46 PM

Good Luck
Good luck and all the best for your Trip guys,have a safe one and enjoy.....:D

Two 06-02-2010 02:27 AM

Have a great trip out there:clap

waltwhitman 06-02-2010 05:24 AM


Originally Posted by JackL
Here's a picture of us from New Years Eve, not in riding gear.
(Note: Hair color may vary)

The Bikes:
Jack: 2007 KLR 650 aka The Green Max
Jessica: 2007 DRZ 400 aka DR Z (or Reefie)

We won't have internet access much in Iceland so our first update won't be until we return.

bond, james bond? :rofl

JackL 06-18-2010 09:10 AM

Day 17
We're back from Iceland. All I can say is it's AMAZING!! We didn't get on two wheels but did find a car to rent cheap so were able to get out & see a lot. Spent 2 days in Reykjavik then 11 days driving with a couple days back in Reykjavik.

Way to many pictures are located here:

JackL 06-21-2010 02:47 PM

A few pics
Thought I'd post a few highlight pics here:


Kerid crater

Snćfellsnes Peninsula

Jökulsárlón (Jökulsár Lagoon)


Vatnajökull glacier



Flotsdalur Hostel

Food porn. Icelandic Salmon & Haddock

BusyWeb 06-21-2010 05:48 PM


JackL 06-30-2010 02:29 PM

And we're OFF!!
2:30 PM. Only half hour after our proposed schedule. There was some last minute shifting of weight & removing of some duplicate tools. Our next post will probably be from ID.

yellowknife 06-30-2010 02:48 PM

Best Wishes on your trip
Great shots of Iceland - the food porn pics were triple X for sure. :lol3


ridingAK 07-10-2010 02:41 PM

I love your pictures and am subscribed for the vicarious ride! Speed safe.

EwliyaCelebi 07-10-2010 02:46 PM

Great photos...
Thanks for sharing

Patrick46 07-10-2010 07:27 PM

count me in!! :clap

You kids be safe out there!!

JackL 07-21-2010 03:37 PM

The trip so far
We're currently sitting at the Tourist Info office in Grand prairie, AB, CAN waiting for a free buffolo bbq & Jess is changing her oil. I'll give a brief update on what we've been doing & then try to get some pics up.

We made it from Seattle to Cashmere, WA the first day & stayed with ADV rider Mike & his 4 dogs. Thanks Mike!
We then rode Hwy 2 across WA with a detour up to Grand Coullee Dam & on to Couer D'Alene, WA where 2 of my cousins live. We spent 5 nights there. Saw a 4th of July parade, went sailing (got stuck on the lake when the engine & wind quite), rode quads (Jess's 1st time) and generally had a good time with the side of my family from TX I haven't seen in 15 years.

From there we rode 3 hours to Yahk, BC where my cousins have a cabin. We got searched at the border for 45 minutes. I don't know why CAN is the hardest country of the 40 odd I've been to to get into. We did a couple floats on the Moyie river, booze cruise style. Another 5 nights there before heading norht to Kimberly dodging thunderstorms. A night hobo camping outside Kimberly then on to Alberta (AB). We rode Hwy 3 to Ft MacLeod & went to Head Smashed in Buffolo Jump. My headlights had cut out somewhere around the CAN broder so we holed up for the night in an abandoned farm.

The next day we avoided a massive storn over Calgary with golf ball size hail & funnel clouds. We met & stayed with a local couple, Chris & Brenda, who managed a camp ground/RV park.

I sent a timely post on ADVRider & Calrider, who I met at the Horizons Unlimited event in Nakusp, BC offered to put us up for a night in Calgary. One night turned into 5 as we had so much fun with him & his girlfriend. Went on our 3 float, did some riding, Jess & I made the town, & we did the Calgary Stampede. I highly recommend it.

From there we rode to Dorothy & then up river through the Badlands. Spent the night for free just across the ferry. From there rode towards Banf & got dumped on. Hobo camped again & had breakfast in Banf. Had a soggy ride up the 93 & camped south of Jasper at the first site we've paid for. Hwy 93 is known as the Icefields Parkway & is staggeringly beautiful. Jess came up with the word Splendiferous to describe it.

We made it NE of jasper onto Hwy 40 and camped up a logging road last night.

I'll post this so I don't lose it.

JackL 07-21-2010 03:46 PM

The trip so far, 2
So far we've had a great time. In 22 days we've covered all of 1600 miles. It's odd being the slowest thing on the road.
We've been floating 3 times.
Seen a mated pair & 3 yr old bald eagle. The young one from the length of a kayak paddle.
Ground squirrels, marmots, deer, elk, a suicidal wolf I almost hit, and the very rare & ellusive North American Tea Bagger. Found only in rural parts of the US.
We've had one problem with my headlights which didn't work for 10 days. A grounding problem.
My rear tire was slowly going flat. Turned out to be a bad valve cap.
Repaired the attachements of Jessica's trunk a few times.
Saw young Canadians singing & dancing, the Canadian Idol winner singing (blah), aerialists, flying taiko drummers, and 4 bikes in the Sphere of Death while 4 other bikes went flying through the air behind.

We've abandoned or shipped home some clothes & trimmed down our gear.

How about some photos?

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